Am I inadmissible if I was granted voluntary departure?

QUESTION: I am hoping you can help me understand a bit more about my case.  In February 2019, as I was coming out of court I was arrested by ICE agents.  From there I was transferred to an ICE detention center.  I remained there until April when I was granted voluntary departure to my home country of Mexico.  I was detained because in July 2013, I entered the U.S. by visa and I-94.  I was 16 years old at the time and did not depart the U.S. by the required date in December 2013.  While under immigration court proceedings I was granted voluntary departure.  I currently have a 3 year old daughter in the United States and I would like to know when I could possibly return, as I was not (I think) given a period of non re-entry. 

REPLY:  Thank you for submitting your question.  While I cannot provide you with any case-specific advice without first reviewing your case in detail, I can provide you with some general information that may be useful.

There are several reasons why a non-U.S. citizen can be barred from entering/returning to the U.S.  One such reason is if the individual has been ordered removed from the U.S. under INA § 240 or § 235(b)(1).  This would classify the individual as an “alien previously removed” and inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(9)(A).  If, however, an individual is granted voluntary departure as an alternative to being ordered removed, s/he will not be inadmissible as “an alien previously removed” and thus will not be barred under INA § 212(a)(9)(A).

It is important to note, however, that even though an individual may not be inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(9)(A) as an alien previously removed, s/he may still be inadmissible to the U.S. for a different reason, especially if the individual entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed after making a lawful entry. 

One possible ground of inadmissibility is under INA § 212(a)(9)(B),

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U.S. now requiring social media information from visa applicants

The Department of State recently updated both immigrant visa (DS-260) and nonimmigrant visa (DS-160) application forms.  The updates include requests that applicants provide additional information including "social media identifiers" such as usernames and previous email addresses.

The Washington Post reports that the new forms, which are completed online, list a number of social media platforms and require visa applicants to provide account names used during the previous five (5) years.

Read full article: U.S. now seeking social media details from all visa applicants



Form I-192 Waiver Approval

I am admittedly behind in posting information regarding nonimmigrant waiver approvals.  Below, please find a summary of a case that was filed and approved earlier this year.

On March 25, 2019, my office received notice of approval of a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant, which was filed at the Pacific Highway Port of Entry on January 20, 2019.  The processing time for this nonimmigrant waiver application was approximately nine (9) weeks.  This was the applicant’s first nonimmigrant waiver application. 

The applicant, a Canadian citizen, requires a nonimmigrant waiver to overcome a charge of inadmissibility under INA § 212(a)(6)(C)(i) - fraud/misrepresentation - that was lodged over 18 years ago.

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The Constitution in the 100-Mile Border Zone

The ACLU has published an extremely informative article regarding U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") and, specifically, U.S. Border Patrol's authority when operating within 100 miles of any United States "external boundary."

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New York State Passes DREAM Act

The New York State legislature has passed its own version of the DREAM Act, which allows undocumented children who are already students in the state to qualify for state aid for college.

Read Article: New York lawmakers just passed their own "DREAM Act"